Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CSFF Tour Day 3 - The Strange Man

People are strange, when you're a stranger...

Yep, we're wrapping up the CSFF Tour featuring The Strange Man by Greg Mitchell. I wanted to look at one interesting tactic he used, after highlighting a couple of blog posts from my tourmates.

Jessica Thomas takes an in-depth and thoughtful look at the book and issues raised by it, including discussing the nature of Satan.

Bruce Hennigan looks at the way Christian fiction has changed by accepting a book such as The Strange Man. (Even though it is labeled "supernatural suspense," it really is a horror story).

And our intrepid leader Becky Miller discusses the elephant in the room, considering the theology of being saved and bearing fruit as it plays out in the book.

Oh, and the book comes with a bonus short story, "Among The Dead," set with the same characters and location but 10 years prior. It gives a nice context for the book, and is plenty creepy in only a few pages!

One trick Greg used that I liked is making the quiet, struggling town of Greensboro a character in the book. The town has a role to play as pivotal as most of the characters in the book, with only the Strange Man, Dras, and Rosalyn taking a bigger part.

The town had thrived in the past, but a new highway left it behind, and the town was dwindling. Dras's best friend Rosalyn wants to get out partly due to the lack of a future there (partly to escape her past as well). Many times in the book Greg gives Greensboro enough personality that it stands out as part of this drama, instead of just being the setting for it. When the ancient evil that has been hovering about, abiding its time, decides that the spiritual climate has diminished enough in the town to allow evil to show itself, it is really the inciting event of the book.

I'd like to see a little more description of Greensboro and its layout, but Greensboro makes for an interesting part of the story in its own right.

There's more opinions and discussion out there, and I invite you to check out the other fine folks talking about The Strange Man at Becky's blog.

The Christian Sci-fi and Fantasy Tour - the best blogging of the month!

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